A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the vampire moths and their fruit-piercing relatives (Lepidoptera: Erebidae: Calpinae)

Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2012 Nov;65(2):786-91. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2012.06.029. Epub 2012 Jul 13.


Within butterflies and moths, adult hematophagy is limited to species within the vampire moth genus Calyptra. These moths are placed within the subfamily Calpinae, whose other members are known to exhibit a broad range of feeding behaviors including those that can be considered 'piercers' of fruits or other hosts and 'tear feeders'. Here, we reconstruct a phylogenetic hypothesis of Calpinae using molecular data to test whether hematophagy in Calyptra arose from plant or animal-related behaviors. We use a Bayesian method of ancestral state reconstruction to determine the most likely feeding behaviors for the subtribes and genera within this lineage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Cell Nucleus / genetics
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Fruit
  • Genes, Insect
  • Likelihood Functions
  • Models, Genetic
  • Moths / classification*
  • Moths / genetics
  • Phylogeny*


  • DNA, Mitochondrial